Military Pigeon Communication Trivia Questions

1. In the world of homing pigeons, what does the term “milt” refer to?

  • A. The name of a specific pigeon breed
  • B. A white powder that protects feathers
  • C. A type of pigeon feed
  • D. A specialized training device

Correct Answer: B. A white powder that protects feathers

Explanation: Milt is a white, chalky powder that pigeons produce to protect their feathers from moisture during flight. This helps them stay dry and maintain their aerodynamic shape.

2. Imagine you are a World War II soldier. You’re in a remote location and need to send an urgent message back to base. What might you use to deliver it?

  • A. A carrier pigeon
  • B. A walkie-talkie
  • C. A Morse code telegraph
  • D. A coded message hidden in a bottle

Correct Answer: A. A carrier pigeon

Explanation: During World War II, homing pigeons were crucial for delivering messages. Their ability to navigate long distances and return to their loft made them ideal for delivering vital information in situations where other communication methods were unreliable.

3. If you’re a pigeoneer, what’s one thing you should absolutely avoid doing to your birds?

  • A. Feeding them a varied diet of seeds, grains, and greens
  • B. Providing them with fresh water
  • C. Roughly handling them
  • D. Keeping their loft clean and sanitary

Correct Answer: C. Roughly handling them

Explanation: Pigeons are sensitive creatures, and rough handling can easily injure them and affect their ability to fly. Pigeoneers are instructed to handle their birds gently and with care to ensure their well-being.

4. What is a “trap” in the context of a pigeon loft?

  • A. A device used to catch wild pigeons
  • B. A special opening that pigeons can enter but not leave
  • C. A compartment where pigeons are kept during training
  • D. A tool used to measure a pigeon’s wingspan

Correct Answer: B. A special opening that pigeons can enter but not leave

Explanation: Traps are designed to collect pigeons within the loft for various purposes, such as checking their health, banding them, or preparing them for training.

5. What is the typical incubation period for a pigeon egg?

  • A. 7-10 days
  • B. 17-18 days
  • C. 28-30 days
  • D. 35-40 days

Correct Answer: B. 17-18 days

Explanation: Pigeon eggs take approximately 17-18 days to hatch. This incubation period is shorter than many other bird species, making pigeons relatively fast breeders.

6. Imagine you’re a pigeoneer tasked with training a new batch of pigeons. How might you encourage them to return to their loft after being released?

  • A. Use a whistle to signal them back
  • B. Release a flock of other trained pigeons to guide them
  • C. Provide them with food and water at the loft
  • D. Train them to fly in a specific formation

Correct Answer: C. Provide them with food and water at the loft

Explanation: Pigeons are naturally motivated to return to their loft, primarily for food and mating. This instinct is key to their homing ability, and pigeoneers leverage it during training.

7. If you were to look at a pigeon’s body, what are the feathered areas called?

  • A. Apterylae
  • B. Pterylae
  • C. Milt
  • D. Aviary

Correct Answer: B. Pterylae

Explanation: Pterylae are the feathered areas or strips on a pigeon’s body, while apterylae are the bare spaces between these feathered areas.

8. What is the common name for the disease caused by a one-celled organism that affects a pigeon’s mouth, esophagus, and crop?

  • A. Paratyphoid
  • B. Canker
  • C. Pigeon Pox
  • D. Tuberculosis

Correct Answer: B. Canker

Explanation: Canker, caused by a one-celled organism called Trichomonas gallinae, is a common disease among pigeons and can affect their mouth, esophagus, and crop. It can be treated, but prevention is crucial.

9. How do pigeons navigate long distances? What is a contributing factor?

  • A. They rely solely on landmarks
  • B. They use their sense of smell
  • C. Their ears may help them detect magnetic and atmospheric changes
  • D. They follow the stars at night

Correct Answer: C. Their ears may help them detect magnetic and atmospheric changes

Explanation: Pigeons have a remarkable sense of direction, which is likely influenced by a combination of factors, including their ability to detect magnetic and atmospheric changes. It is believed their ears may play a role in this complex navigational system.

10. What is the annual allowance of grit per pigeon?

  • A. 1 pound
  • B. 3 pounds
  • C. 6 pounds
  • D. 10 pounds

Correct Answer: C. 6 pounds

Explanation: Grit is essential for a pigeon’s digestive system, aiding in pulverizing food and providing vital minerals. The manual recommends an annual allowance of 6 pounds of grit per pigeon.

11. What does the term “culling” refer to in the context of pigeon breeding?

  • A. The process of separating pigeons based on their color
  • B. The act of training pigeons to fly in groups
  • C. The practice of destroying pigeons that don’t meet breeding standards
  • D. The method of preventing pigeon diseases

Correct Answer: C. The practice of destroying pigeons that don’t meet breeding standards

Explanation: Culling is a harsh but sometimes necessary practice in pigeon breeding. It involves eliminating pigeons that do not meet certain criteria for health, performance, or appearance, to maintain the quality of the breeding stock.

12. How much grain does a pigeon typically consume in a week?

  • A. 1/4 pound
  • B. 1/2 pound
  • C. 1 pound
  • D. 2 pounds

Correct Answer: C. 1 pound

Explanation: Pigeons have a relatively high metabolic rate due to their active lifestyle. They need a steady supply of energy, and the manual states that a pigeon typically consumes 1 pound of grain per week.

13. What is a “pigeon fly”?

  • A. A special type of training equipment
  • B. A breed of pigeon known for its speed
  • C. A type of external parasite that can transmit diseases
  • D. A pigeon’s ability to fly at night

Correct Answer: C. A type of external parasite that can transmit diseases

Explanation: Pigeon flies are external parasites that can infest pigeons and cause discomfort, but more importantly, they can transmit diseases like pigeon malaria. Keeping a clean and sanitized loft is crucial for controlling these parasites.

14. What is the average speed of a trained pigeon flying over 13 miles?

  • A. 10 miles per hour
  • B. 20 miles per hour
  • C. 30 miles per hour
  • D. 40 miles per hour

Correct Answer: C. 30 miles per hour

Explanation: Trained homing pigeons are capable of impressive speeds, with the manual stating that the average speed of a trained pigeon flying over 13 miles is about 30 miles per hour.

rock dove on concrete surface

15. What is the name for an enclosure within a pigeon loft where pigeons can enjoy sunlight?

  • A. Trap
  • B. Aviary
  • C. Nesting box
  • D. Training cage

Correct Answer: B. Aviary

Explanation: An aviary is a specifically designed enclosure within a pigeon loft that allows pigeons to access sunlight, which is essential for their well-being and feather health.

16. What does the term “settling” refer to in the context of pigeon training?

  • A. The process of teaching a pigeon to fly in a specific formation
  • B. The act of releasing a pigeon for the first time
  • C. The process of training a pigeon to return to its home loft
  • D. The method of selecting pigeons for breeding

Correct Answer: C. The process of training a pigeon to return to its home loft

Explanation: Settling is a crucial step in training homing pigeons. It involves acclimating them to their loft and encouraging them to return to it after being released, building their homing instinct.

17. If you were to find a pigeon with a torn crop, what would you do?

  • A. Apply antibiotic ointment
  • B. Give it a large amount of food
  • C. Try to stitch it up yourself
  • D. Seek veterinary help

Correct Answer: D. Seek veterinary help

Explanation: Injuries to a pigeon’s crop can be serious, and it’s important to seek veterinary help for proper diagnosis and treatment. A veterinarian can provide the necessary care to ensure the pigeon’s recovery.

18. What is the name of a highly contagious disease that affects various organs in pigeons and has no known cure?

  • A. Pigeon Pox
  • B. Trichomoniasis
  • C. Tuberculosis
  • D. Paratyphoid

Correct Answer: C. Tuberculosis

Explanation: Tuberculosis is a serious disease that can affect various organs in pigeons and is often fatal. It is highly contagious and unfortunately has no known cure.

19. What is a strongyle?

  • A. A type of training device for pigeons
  • B. A specific breed of pigeon known for its size
  • C. A type of internal parasite that can infest pigeons
  • D. A condition that affects a pigeon’s feathers

Correct Answer: C. A type of internal parasite that can infest pigeons

Explanation: Strongyles are a type of roundworm that can infest pigeons and cause significant damage to their intestines.

20. What is the primary factor that drives the pigeon’s homing instinct?

  • A. A magnetic sense of direction
  • B. A complex navigational system
  • C. The desire for food and reproduction
  • D. A strong bond with their handler

Correct Answer: C. The desire for food and reproduction

Explanation: Pigeons are naturally motivated to return to their home loft because it provides them with food and opportunities for mating. This fundamental instinct drives their homing ability and makes them such effective messengers.

21. What is the primary method used to feed young pigeons?

  • A. They are fed by hand
  • B. They peck at food on the floor
  • C. Their parents regurgitate food into their crops
  • D. They are given a special diet of seeds and grains

Correct Answer: C. Their parents regurgitate food into their crops

Explanation: Young pigeons are fed by their parents through a process called regurgitation, where the parent birds eject food from their own crop into the youngster’s crop.

22. If you are trying to get rid of lice on your pigeons, what substance could be used effectively?

  • A. A 4-percent saponified cresol solution
  • B. Sodium fluoride
  • C. A strong antibiotic
  • D. A special pigeon shampoo

Correct Answer: B. Sodium fluoride

Explanation: Sodium fluoride is an effective treatment for lice on pigeons. It is a common insecticide used to control these external parasites.

23. What is the name of the process by which pigeons shed their feathers and grow new ones?

  • A. Molting
  • B. Culling
  • C. Setting
  • D. Milt

Correct Answer: A. Molting

Explanation: Molting is a natural process for pigeons, where they shed their old feathers and grow new ones. It usually occurs once a year and can be influenced by various factors, including breeding, health, and weather.

24. What is a “message holder” in the context of pigeon communication?

  • A. A special type of band that identifies the pigeon
  • B. A small container attached to a pigeon’s leg for carrying messages
  • C. A book used to record pigeon training data
  • D. A signal used to guide pigeons back to their loft

Correct Answer: B. A small container attached to a pigeon’s leg for carrying messages

Explanation: A message holder, also known as a “pigeon capsule,” is a small container attached to a pigeon’s leg that securely holds messages. It is designed to be lightweight and easy for the pigeon to carry during flight.

25. What is the primary reason pigeons are sensitive to handling?

  • A. They are easily frightened by loud noises
  • B. They are easily injured due to their delicate bone structure
  • C. They are prone to diseases that are easily spread through contact
  • D. They are highly intelligent and can quickly learn to distrust humans

Correct Answer: B. They are easily injured due to their delicate bone structure

Explanation: Pigeons have a relatively delicate bone structure, making them susceptible to injury if handled roughly. Pigeoneers are trained to be gentle with their birds to prevent any harm.

26. What are “apterylae”?

  • A. The bare spaces between feathered areas on a pigeon’s body
  • B. The feathered areas on a pigeon’s body
  • C. A specific type of pigeon feed
  • D. A training method for pigeons

Correct Answer: A. The bare spaces between feathered areas on a pigeon’s body

Explanation: Apterylae are the bare spaces on a pigeon’s body that separate the feathered areas called pterylae. These bare spaces help with feather maintenance and airflow during flight.

27. What is the name of the disease that typically affects a pigeon’s head and feet and can be prevented through vaccination?

  • A. Canker
  • B. Pigeon Pox
  • C. Tuberculosis
  • D. Paratyphoid

Correct Answer: B. Pigeon Pox

Explanation: Pigeon pox is a common viral disease that often manifests as wart-like growths on a pigeon’s head and feet. Vaccination is an effective way to prevent this disease in pigeons.

28. How long can a tapeworm grow inside a pigeon?

  • A. 1-2 inches
  • B. 3-4 inches
  • C. 6-8 inches
  • D. 10-12 inches

Correct Answer: C. 6-8 inches

Explanation: Tapeworms are internal parasites that can infest pigeons and grow quite long. The manual states that some tapeworms can reach lengths of 6-8 inches, highlighting the importance of sanitation and parasite control.

29. What is the most common way pigeons are affected by external parasites?

  • A. Through contact with infected birds
  • B. By eating contaminated food
  • C. Through contact with contaminated water
  • D. By inhaling contaminated air

Correct Answer: A. Through contact with infected birds

Explanation: External parasites like lice, mites, and pigeon flies are often spread through direct contact with infected birds. Keeping pigeons in a clean and sanitized environment and regularly checking for parasites is crucial to prevent infestations.

30. What is the name for a pigeon that is specifically bred for its speed and distance flying ability?

  • A. A carrier pigeon
  • B. A racing pigeon
  • C. A homing pigeon
  • D. A tumbler pigeon

Correct Answer: C. A homing pigeon

Explanation: Homing pigeons are a distinct variety of pigeons that are bred for their exceptional speed and homing instinct, making them ideal for communication and racing.

31. What type of equipment is designed to safely transport pigeons to isolated ground troops?

  • A. A training cage
  • B. A special parachute
  • C. A carrying basket
  • D. A special carrier pigeon loft

Correct Answer: B. A special parachute

Explanation: During World War II, pigeons were often delivered to isolated troops using a specialized parachute system that allowed them to safely descend to the ground.

32. What is the primary function of a pigeon’s gizzard?

  • A. To store food before digestion
  • B. To produce digestive enzymes
  • C. To grind and pulverize food
  • D. To absorb nutrients from digested food

Correct Answer: C. To grind and pulverize food

Explanation: The gizzard is a muscular part of a pigeon’s digestive system that functions to grind and pulverize food, aided by the presence of grit in their diet. This is essential for breaking down tough food items.

33. What is the term for the practice of destroying young pigeons that don’t meet breeding standards?

  • A. Molting
  • B. Culling
  • C. Training
  • D. Setting

Correct Answer: B. Culling

Explanation: Culling is a practice in pigeon breeding that involves eliminating young pigeons that do not meet specific standards for size, appearance, health, or performance. This ensures that only the best birds are kept for breeding purposes.

34. What is a “strongyle”?

  • A. A type of pigeon feed
  • B. A specific type of pigeon loft
  • C. A type of internal parasite
  • D. A training method for pigeons

Correct Answer: C. A type of internal parasite

Explanation: Strongyles are a type of roundworm that can infest pigeons and cause damage to their intestines.

35. What is the approximate percentage of young pigeons that are typically culled each season?

  • A. 10%
  • B. 20%
  • C. 30%
  • D. 40%

Correct Answer: C. 30%

Explanation: Pigeoneers often cull a significant portion of young pigeons to maintain the quality of their breeding stock. The manual estimates that about 30 percent of young pigeons are culled each season.

grey pigeon on flight above the lake

36. What is the name of the white, chalky powder that pigeons produce to protect their feathers during flight?

  • A. Milt
  • B. Grit
  • C. Feather dust
  • D. Pigeon oil

Correct Answer: A. Milt

Explanation: Milt is a substance produced by pigeons that helps protect their feathers from moisture during flight, allowing them to maintain their aerodynamic shape and efficiency.

37. What is the primary purpose of grit in a pigeon’s diet?

  • A. To provide essential vitamins and minerals
  • B. To help with digestion and provide essential minerals
  • C. To increase the pigeon’s energy levels
  • D. To help with feather growth

Correct Answer: B. To help with digestion and provide essential minerals

Explanation: Grit is essential for a pigeon’s digestive system. It helps grind and pulverize food in the gizzard and provides essential minerals like calcium for bone building and egg shell formation.

38. What is a “cock” pigeon?

  • A. A young pigeon
  • B. A male pigeon
  • C. A female pigeon
  • D. A pigeon that is trained to fly long distances

Correct Answer: B. A male pigeon

Explanation: In the world of pigeons, a “cock” refers to a male pigeon.

39. What is the typical weight range for a female pigeon?

  • A. 10-12 ounces
  • B. 13-16 ounces
  • C. 17-19 ounces
  • D. 20-22 ounces

Correct Answer: B. 13-16 ounces

Explanation: Female pigeons typically weigh between 13 and 16 ounces. This is slightly less than male pigeons, which usually weigh between 14 and 17 ounces.

40. What is the main reason pigeons are trained to fly in groups?

  • A. To help them build their flying muscles
  • B. To improve their homing instinct
  • C. To make them more resistant to diseases
  • D. To make them less likely to be preyed upon

Correct Answer: B. To improve their homing instinct

Explanation: Training pigeons in groups helps improve their homing instinct. They learn to follow each other and their leader, which strengthens their ability to navigate back to their loft.

41. What is the name for the disease that can manifest in various ways and is often difficult to diagnose?

  • A. Tuberculosis
  • B. Pigeon Pox
  • C. Paratyphoid
  • D. Canker

Correct Answer: C. Paratyphoid

Explanation: Paratyphoid is a bacterial disease that can affect pigeons in various ways, making it challenging to diagnose. It can cause symptoms like diarrhea, lethargy, and weight loss.

42. What is the typical weight range for a male pigeon?

  • A. 10-12 ounces
  • B. 13-16 ounces
  • C. 17-19 ounces
  • D. 20-22 ounces

Correct Answer: C. 17-19 ounces

Explanation: Male pigeons typically weigh between 14 and 17 ounces, slightly heavier than female pigeons, which typically weigh between 13 and 16 ounces.

43. What is the main reason why pigeons are sensitive to changes in atmospheric conditions?

  • A. Their sensitive ears may help them detect magnetic and atmospheric changes
  • B. Their feathers are easily damaged by strong winds
  • C. They are prone to respiratory problems in cold weather
  • D. They are attracted to specific weather patterns

Correct Answer: A. Their sensitive ears may help them detect magnetic and atmospheric changes

Explanation: Pigeons have a sensitive sense of direction, which is believed to be influenced by their ability to detect magnetic and atmospheric changes. This sensitivity means that adverse weather can temporarily disorient them.

44. What are some examples of bad weather conditions that can hinder pigeon flights?

  • A. Sunny days and calm winds
  • B. Rain, fog, and snow
  • C. Clear skies and moderate temperatures
  • D. Light winds and calm seas

Correct Answer: B. Rain, fog, and snow

Explanation: Adverse weather conditions like rain, fog, and snow can significantly hinder pigeon flights. They can disorient pigeons, make navigation difficult, and reduce visibility.

45. What is the best airspeed for launching pigeons?

  • A. 50-100 miles per hour
  • B. 100-150 miles per hour
  • C. 125-175 miles per hour
  • D. 200-250 miles per hour

Correct Answer: C. 125-175 miles per hour

Explanation: The manual suggests that pigeons launched between 200 and 1,000 feet with an airspeed of 125 miles per hour have the best results. This is believed to optimize their flight and homing performance.

46. What is a “pigeon fly”?

  • A. A special type of training equipment
  • B. A breed of pigeon known for its speed
  • C. A type of external parasite that can transmit diseases
  • D. A pigeon’s ability to fly at night

Correct Answer: C. A type of external parasite that can transmit diseases

Explanation: Pigeon flies are external parasites that can infest pigeons and cause discomfort, but more importantly, they can transmit diseases like pigeon malaria. Keeping a clean and sanitized loft is crucial for controlling these parasites.

47. How can red mites be effectively controlled?

  • A. By using a strong antibiotic
  • B. By regularly cleaning the loft
  • C. By feeding pigeons a special diet
  • D. By spraying them with a 4-percent saponified cresol solution

Correct Answer: D. By spraying them with a 4-percent saponified cresol solution

Explanation: Red mites are external parasites that suck blood from pigeons and can cause various problems. A 4-percent saponified cresol solution is an effective way to control these mites and prevent infestations.

48. What is a “trap” in the context of a pigeon loft?

  • A. A device used to catch wild pigeons
  • B. A special opening that pigeons can enter but not leave
  • C. A compartment where pigeons are kept during training
  • D. A tool used to measure a pigeon’s wingspan

Correct Answer: B. A special opening that pigeons can enter but not leave

Explanation: Traps are designed to collect pigeons within the loft for various purposes, such as checking their health, banding them, or preparing them for training.

49. What is a “message holder” in the context of pigeon communication?

  • A. A special type of band that identifies the pigeon
  • B. A small container attached to a pigeon’s leg for carrying messages
  • C. A book used to record pigeon training data
  • D. A signal used to guide pigeons back to their loft

Correct Answer: B. A small container attached to a pigeon’s leg for carrying messages

Explanation: A message holder, also known as a “pigeon capsule,” is a small container attached to a pigeon’s leg that securely holds messages. It is designed to be lightweight and easy for the pigeon to carry during flight.

50. What is the main reason why pigeons are sensitive to changes in atmospheric conditions?

  • A. Their sensitive ears may help them detect magnetic and atmospheric changes
  • B. Their feathers are easily damaged by strong winds
  • C. They are prone to respiratory problems in cold weather
  • D. They are attracted to specific weather patterns

Correct Answer: A. Their sensitive ears may help them detect magnetic and atmospheric changes

Explanation: Pigeons have a sensitive sense of direction, which is believed to be influenced by their ability to detect magnetic and atmospheric changes. This sensitivity means that adverse weather can temporarily disorient them.

51. How many roundworms have been found in a single pigeon?

  • A. 50
  • B. 100
  • C. 200
  • D. 500

Correct Answer: D. 500

Explanation: Roundworms are a common type of internal parasite that can infest pigeons. The manual mentions that as many as 500 roundworms have been found in a single pigeon, highlighting the importance of parasite control.

52. What is the typical incubation period for a pigeon egg?

  • A. 7-10 days
  • B. 17-18 days
  • C. 28-30 days
  • D. 35-40 days

Correct Answer: B. 17-18 days

Explanation: Pigeon eggs take approximately 17-18 days to hatch. This incubation period is shorter than many other bird species, making pigeons relatively fast breeders.

53. What is the primary method used to feed young pigeons?

  • A. They are fed by hand
  • B. They peck at food on the floor
  • C. Their parents regurgitate food into their crops
  • D. They are given a special diet of seeds and grains

Correct Answer: C. Their parents regurgitate food into their crops

Explanation: Young pigeons are fed by their parents through a process called regurgitation, where the parent birds eject food from their own crop into the youngster’s crop.

54. What is the name for a pigeon that is specifically bred for its speed and distance flying ability?

  • A. A carrier pigeon
  • B. A racing pigeon
  • C. A homing pigeon
  • D. A tumbler pigeon

Correct Answer: C. A homing pigeon

Explanation: Homing pigeons are a distinct variety of pigeons that are bred for their exceptional speed and homing instinct, making them ideal for communication and racing.

55. What is the typical weight range for a female pigeon?

  • A. 10-12 ounces
  • B. 13-16 ounces
  • C. 17-19 ounces
  • D. 20-22 ounces

Correct Answer: B. 13-16 ounces

Explanation: Female pigeons typically weigh between 13 and 16 ounces. This is slightly less than male pigeons, which usually weigh between 14 and 17 ounces.

56. What is a “cock” pigeon?

  • A. A young pigeon
  • B. A male pigeon
  • C. A female pigeon
  • D. A pigeon that is trained to fly long distances

Correct Answer: B. A male pigeon

Explanation: In the world of pigeons, a “cock” refers to a male pigeon.

57. What is the name for the process by which pigeons shed their feathers and grow new ones?

  • A. Molting
  • B. Culling
  • C. Setting
  • D. Milt

Correct Answer: A. Molting

Explanation: Molting is a natural process for pigeons, where they shed their old feathers and grow new ones. It usually occurs once a year and can be influenced by various factors, including breeding, health, and weather.

58. What is a “trap” in the context of a pigeon loft?

  • A. A device used to catch wild pigeons
  • B. A special opening that pigeons can enter but not leave
  • C. A compartment where pigeons are kept during training
  • D. A tool used to measure a pigeon’s wingspan

Correct Answer: B. A special opening that pigeons can enter but not leave

Explanation: Traps are designed to collect pigeons within the loft for various purposes, such as checking their health, banding them, or preparing them for training.

59. What is the name of the highly contagious disease that affects various organs in pigeons and has no known cure?

  • A. Pigeon Pox
  • B. Trichomoniasis
  • C. Tuberculosis
  • D. Paratyphoid

Correct Answer: C. Tuberculosis

Explanation: Tuberculosis is a serious disease that can affect various organs in pigeons and is often fatal. It is highly contagious and unfortunately has no known cure.

60. How much grain does a pigeon typically consume in a week?

  • A. 1/4 pound
  • B. 1/2 pound
  • C. 1 pound
  • D. 2 pounds

Correct Answer: C. 1 pound

Explanation: Pigeons have a relatively high metabolic rate due to their active lifestyle. They need a steady supply of energy, and the manual states that a pigeon typically consumes 1 pound of grain per week.

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